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MA English

About This Masters Degree

Course Description


The English Department offers MAs in the areas of Literature, Renaissance Studies, and Composition/Rhetoric.

Department faculty mentor students at all stages of their graduate experience, from coursework to teaching to examinations and the writing of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

Graduate students in our Department not only have the opportunity to learn in an engaging environment but also to teach in one as well. Beginning in their first (for PhD candidates) and second (for MA candidates) years, they gain valuable classroom experience in composition classes, literature surveys, and courses they design themselves. Our program's scholarly and pedagogical preparation, as well as our detailed attention to professional placement, has enabled students to develop careers as teachers, scholars, publishers and editors.

Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies

"Bringing the Globe to Alabama"

The Strode Program is a privately endowed program to promote the study of English literature from Skelton to Milton. The endowment provides for lectures and residencies by distinguished scholars and fellowships for graduate study at the University of Alabama in the field of English Renaissance Literature.

Hudson Strode served on the University of Alabama faculty from 1916 to 1963. He was a prolific author and celebrated teacher of Shakespeare and of creative writing. The Strode program was endowed by Professor Strode and his wife, Thérèse.

Focus: The Graduate Student

The intellectual work and educational activities sponsored by the Strode Program, from fellowships to lecture series, from the Strode Seminar to summer research awards, converge upon a single focus: the graduate student. We have a lively and talented group of students specializing in English Renaissance literature in preparation for careers in colleges and universities, or for other professional or personal goals. The faculty is committed not only to teaching students but also to mentoring them, fostering a community of future scholars.

Our students have won departmental and college awards for teaching and they have won university-wide fellowships for dissertation research. A recent Ph.D. received the College of Arts and Sciences annual award for best dissertation. Topics treated in the dissertations produced by our students are diverse—from readings of Spenser which deploy the theories of Derrida and Lacan to studies of the representation of female sexuality which draw upon seventeenth-century London court records; from adaptations of Shakespeare for teen films to performance criticism of regional and university theatrical productions. Essays written by our students—on Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, on the agency of the letter in Hamlet, on class conflict in Coriolanus, on Leo Africanus and early modern imperialism, and on queer kinship in The Merchant of Venice—have appeared in Early Modern Literary Studies, English Literary History, English Literary Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, and Shakespeare, among other journals and essay collections.

We have an excellent record of placing Ph.D.s in tenure-track professorships. In the past ten years, 100% of our Ph.D. graduates who went on the academic job market eventually landed tenure-track jobs. Recent graduates have joined the faculty at Cornell College, High Point University, Mercer University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Xavier University, and Youngstown State University. M.A. students have matriculated to Ph.D. programs at Emory, Northwestern, Rutgers, University of California, University of Georgia, University of Oxford, University of Tennessee, and University of Washington, to name a few. Other M.A. students have gone on to law school, library school, the Peace Corps, high school teaching, or other opportunities.

Composition and Rhetoric

The graduate curriculum in CRES (Composition, Rhetoric, and English Studies) provides a solid foundation in English studies with a particular focus on the teaching of writing and studies in language, literacy, and rhetoric. The doctoral program is designed for those seeking academic positions as composition specialists (researchers, teachers, or administrators) in postsecondary English departments that emphasize writing instruction. The MA program is ideal for those who wish to do community college teaching or administrative work, and for students wishing to continue on to the PhD.

The graduate curriculum provides core courses in composition-rhetoric as well as elective opportunities in literature, linguistics, communication studies, education, and interdisciplinary areas such as gender and race. CRES students have opportunities to teach first-year writing, technical writing, and sophomore literature surveys. We also offer opportunities for writing center work and writing program administration.

Our graduates have obtained tenure-track positions at community colleges and four-year institutions such as Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC), Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa, AL), North Carolina Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, NC), Judson College (Marion, AL), Charlotte School of Law (NC), Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL), the University of Houston, Itawamba Community College (Fulton, MS), Chattanooga State Community College (TN), Hinds Community College (Jackson, Mississippi), Marion Military Institute (Marion, AL), Louisiana Tech, Murray State (KY), the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of Texas-El Paso, Alabama A&M, St. Louis Community College (Meramec Campus), LaGrange College (GA), East Tennessee State, the University of South Alabama, Eastern Illinois University, and the University of North Alabama.

Application to all graduate programs offered by the Department of English is made through the University of Alabama Graduate School online application, which can be accessed by following the link on the English Department's Admissions page.

Visit the MA English page on the University of Alabama website for more details!

Entry Requirements

See site for details

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